The final two undefeated “Big-11” high school football teams entered week five at 4-0. They both faced their toughest challenges of the season with road games against opponents more than capable of pulling out a win.
Lord Botetourt and North Cross were up to the challenge, pulling out hard-fought victories over Northside and Blue Ridge, respectfully.
That sends the Cavaliers and Raiders to perfect 5-0 records at the midway point of the season. Make no mistake about it, these two teams will have targets on their backs heading down the regular season stretch run.
Here’s a look at how all of our “Big-11” fared last weekend, with Cave Spring and William Byrd having their bye week in week-5.
Lord Botetourt-28 Northside-7
In a game that was a lot closer than the final score would indicate, Lord Botetourt’s defense held tough in the fourth quarter as the Cavaliers turned a narrow 14-7 advantage with a pair of 2-yard scoring runs by Preston Martin and Ty Maust in the final frame to settle the final margin. Northside, which had the advantage in this series in recent years, was held to 30 rushing yards by the talented Botetourt defense. Garrison Mayo had staked the Cavs to a 14-0 lead in the second quarter on a 38-yard interception return and a 32-yard touchdown run. Northside’s score came on quarterback Jabari Blake’s 42-yard keeper that had the Vikings still within striking distance at the halftime break.
North Cross- 42 Blue Ridge-34
The Raiders came up big on the road in St. George as North Cross played its first Saturday afternoon game of the season. North Cross fell behind 14-0 to the Barons in the first quarter, but roared back with the help of four touchdown runs by running back Isaac Harris and a pair of touchdown passes from North Cross quarterback Miles Lowman. The Raiders didn’t take the lead until the fourth quarter and held off a late surge by Blue Ridge.
Salem-56 Hidden Valley-3
Hidden Valley played the visiting Spartans to a stalemate through the first quarter, but the dam broke on the Titans as Salem scored 20 in the second, 22 in the third and 14 more in the final 12 minutes. De’Angelo Ramsey was the big gun for Salem, rushing for 205 yards and three touchdowns. Riley Fox added three touchdown runs for the Spartans as Salem won its fourth straight game after an opening week loss to Amherst County. Hidden Valley fell to 1-4 on the season.
Patrick Henry-59 Christiansburg-7
Patrick Henry led 24-0 after one quarter, 45-0 at the break and was up 52-0 in the third before the homesteading Blue Demons dented the scoreboard. PH improved to 4-1 on the season a week after losing a late lead in their loss to Albemarle. The blowout win sets the stage for this week’s visit by undefeated Pulaski County to Merrill Gainer Field where the Patriots will be looking to reverse last season’s 21-14 loss at the Cougar Den.
Staunton River-41 William Fleming-7
Is 5-0 Staunton River quickly becoming the sleeper in the Blue Ridge District? The Golden Eagles dominated Friday night, scoring the game’s first 41 points before giving up a late touchdown to visiting William Fleming. Staunton River’s defense held the Colonels to under 150 total yards and Fleming only made things worse for themselves by committing four turnovers.
Roanoke Catholic-52 Virginia Episcopal-6
It was all Roanoke Catholic Friday night at Vinyard Park as the Celtics blew by the visiting Bishops. Catholic rolled out to a 38-0 halftime lead and coasted the rest of the way to improve to 4-1 on the season. Jamel Tyree was the one-man highlight reel for the Celtics, rushing for 185 yards and three touchdowns as well as adding one score on a pass reception and another on a 82-yard kickoff return.
Glenvar broke open a 6-0 halftime lead with 22 third quarter points as the Highlanders rolled in West Salem. The Glenvar defense was the undoing for the Cougars, picking off three Covington passes and recovering three fumbles. Glenvar’s only score in the first half came on a 48-yard punt return by Alec Thompson, who also tacked on a 57-yard touchdown reception in the second half. After the intermission, Brady Loder scored on a 2-yard run that opened the floodgates for the Highlander offense. Jack Leonard added two touchdown runs for Glenvar, which improved to 3-2.